Part day spa, part body product and houseware mecca, Belladonna (2900 Magazine St., 504-891-4393; www.belladonnadayspa.com) has offered New Orleanians a place to find tranquility, wellness and a little self-indulgence for more than 25 years. Owner Kim Dudek attributes her business' success to its inviting atmosphere.
"One of the things about Belladonna is that everyone feels comfortable," Dudek says. "We see men and women of all ages, with clients ranging in age from 6 through 80. Totally inclusive. That is our goal."
A stroll through the 13,000- square-foot business' retail space reveals goods for men, women, children and pets. Serving platters, flatware and other dinner party staples are spread throughout the space. Scarves and silky loungewear hang amid a selection of high-end bedding, and greeting cards and other small gift items are available. The elaborate seasonal front display has everything from high-end home accessories to holiday decorations and fun, sparkly trinkets.
"Christmas is humongous at Belladonna," Dudek says. "Our store is transformed into a holiday wonderland and we spend a lot of time researching and finding the most special, unique ornaments each year."
There are themed goods suitable for holidays like Halloween and Carnival as well as celebrations like weddings, birthdays and baby showers.
"We host a lot of events," Dudek says. "And every party is different. From smaller group packages like a kid's birthday with nail services to a bridal party retreat with a Champagne toast, we make sure that each event is special."
Spa services at Belladonna are as wide-ranging as the store merchandise. Therapies include massage, skincare, aromatherapy, nail and wax services. The "Be quick" microdermabrasion treatment is a 30-minute session. Also on the spa menu are services like "Be relaxed," a full-body therapeutic massage, and "Be overhauled," a men's hot-towel face treatment with a 50-minute full body massage, pedicure and brow trim and shaping. There's also a mother-daughter package with a spa lunch, facial, manicure, pedicure and makeup application. Clients are encouraged to arrive early for their appointments to get the most out of the experience, and Dudek encourages them to unwind in the spa's tea garden.
"The space is tucked away from the bustle of the street and we've outfitted it in the traditional Japanese style with a fountain and bamboo," Dudek says.
The tea garden is available for bridal showers and other special events. Some couples' packages include a lunch and Champagne in the garden.
"Belladonna ... [helps customers] take a step away from ... the day-to-day and just be," Dudek says.